Like geographic coordinates – longitude, latitude, and altitude – L*a*b* color values give us a way to locate and communicate colors. What’s the history of L*a*b*? In the 1940’s, Richard Hunter introduced a tri-stimulus model, Lab, which is scaled to achieve near uniform spacing of perceived color differences. While Hunter’s Lab was adopted as the de facto model for plotting absolute color coordinates and differences between colors, it was never formally accepted as...

Posted October 08, 2018 by Mike Huda

To understand how color management works, you need a basic knowledge of the additive and subtractive systems of color reproduction. Both use a small number of primary colors that combine to produce a large number – or gamut – of colors… but the way they do that is quite different. In our Color Perception Part 1: The Effect of Light  post, we explained how the visible color spectrum (we know it as the rainbow) encompasses light wavelengths from approximately 380 to 720 nm. By breaking the visible...

Posted August 10, 2018 by Tim Mouw

When it comes to the way we see color, our eyes can be deceived. This is partially caused by our humble brain, which is managing vast amount of information and processing it the best it can. It can also be related to genetics and the environment; we all see color a little differently. But above all, LIGHT has biggest impact on the colors we see.  Without getting too technical, here is an introduction to the way light affects our perception of color. RGB Color Circle The temperature of lig...

Posted July 19, 2018 by Shoshana Burgett

Color 2018 was a huge success for connecting the dots, breaking down silos, and learning how to gain control of an integrated color management workflow. It offered in-depth sessions including Brand & Design, Print & Production, Standards & Business, and Vendor/Product Demonstrations. I was there to share tips and advice about how closed-loop color control can help you keep up with color. Here are some of the key takeaways. What is closed-loop color control? Closed-loop color can me...

Posted April 02, 2018 by Ray Cheydleur

Warm weather is just around the corner and spring is in the air!   Fluffy yellow chicks…   Delicate pink tulips…   Soft green sprouts poking through the ground…   And, of course, spring M&M'S®! Advertisers target our springtime emotions through pastel colors. Pastels have a calming effect, and everywhere you look companies are using them to feed our desire to feel a bit of spring. Today we’ll take a look at the psychology of color, how marke...

Posted March 19, 2018 by Shoshana Burgett

To control color, you need to be able to compare very small differences, determine their impact and understand how to address that impact. In this series we’ve already looked at the history of color analysis and the role of light in tolerancing. Today we’ll discuss the difference between a color space and a color tolerance and introduce the most common methods. Color Spaces A color space gives us a way to communicate color. Just like we can find any location on planet earth using lo...

Posted March 16, 2018 by Tim Mouw

When customers are just getting started with color management, they often ask, "What is the difference between a spectrometer and a spectrophotometer?". With such a minute spelling difference, it's easy to make a quick typo and get the wrong answer for this color question. So...what's the difference? Spectrometers vs. Spectrophotometers    What is a Spectrophotometer? A spectrophotometer is a color measurement device that is used to capture and evaluate color on just about anything, in...

Posted March 05, 2018 by X-Rite Color

Have you ever bought something at the store, only to return home and realize it doesn’t match anything in your house? It’s not the color that changed. It’s the way you perceived it. To control color, you need to be able to compare very small differences, determine their impact and understand how to address that impact. In this three-part series, we’re looking at the key components of tolerancing. If you missed part one, The History of Color Analysis, check it out now. T...

Posted March 01, 2018 by Tim Mouw

To control color, you need to be able to compare very small differences, determine their impact, and understand how to address that impact. But words alone can’t give us enough information to precisely describe colors, or the difference between them. In this three-part series we will look at the color science behind tolerancing – the color analysis that paved the way, the role of light, and the difference between a color space and a color model – so you can make ...

Posted February 21, 2018 by Tim Mouw

Surface appearance can change your perception of color. Think of a glossy magazine. If the light is shining directly on the page, you may need to tilt the magazine and change the reflection angle to clearly see the colors. Likewise, a textured surface may appear to be a different color than a smooth surface of the same object. Since spectrophotometers determine a color’s spectral values by shining light onto the surface and measuring the reflectance, choosing the right instrument and the...

Posted February 02, 2018 by Tim Mouw

The two most common spectrophotometers are the 0:45 and the sphere (aka diffuse/8°). We get a lot of questions about which is the best choice. Here’s the difference in how these two devices measure color, and guidelines for when to use each. 0:45 In a “fixed geometry” or “single angle” device, the first number is the starting point of the light, and the second number is where the light ends up after the reflection off the surface of the sample. In a 0:45 ...

Posted January 18, 2018 by Mike Huda

At the end of each year we enjoy looking back at our most popular blogs because it’s a great way for us to understand what interests you – our readers. As the years go by, we have discovered a few make the list again and again. This year the Top Ten is split down the middle between color theory and manufacturing best practices. Have you read them all? Top Five Color Theory Topics of 2017 1. Color Perception Part 1: The Effect of Light   Remember “The Dress?” Was it ...

Posted January 12, 2018 by X-Rite Color

Appearance is more than simply color. It’s a comprehensive look at everything inherent to each unique material we come in contact with, including texture, gloss, transparency, and special effects. Each of these characteristics plays a part and has an effect on overall appearance and understanding in relation to a single material. Objects may have several elements that affect appearance, such as the material’s surface texture, construction, overall geometry and micro-surface. The environ...

Posted October 24, 2017 by Thomas Meeker

The World Series starts next week. While players and fans are gearing up for the big event, stadium groundskeepers are preparing, too. You’ve surely seen those meticulous patterns in the grass – crisscross, spiral, plaid – but do you know how the groundskeepers create them? Thanks to a phenomenon called geometric metamerism (aka gonio-appearance), the grass really is greener on the other side. Read on to learn more about this optical illusion that can trick your eyes and wreak havoc on y...

Posted October 17, 2017 by Mike Huda

Color measurement devices are used to capture, communicate, and evaluate color. From cardboard packaging to food, laundry soap, carpeting and small plastic parts, color measurement devices help ensure the color being produced matches the color that was originally specified. They’re used behind the scenes in just about every industry where color is important, including plastics, textiles, paints, coatings, print and packaging. There are basically two types of color measurement instruments: color...

Posted August 06, 2017 by Tim Mouw

Spectrophotometers are color measurement devices used to specify and communicate color and monitor accuracy throughout production. There are spectrophotometers to measure just about anything, from liquids and plastics to paper, metal and fabrics. Brand owners, designers, lab techs and quality control professionals rely on them to ensure color remains consistent, from the time it’s specified until final quality check, in just about every industry. This Ci7800 benchtop spectrophotometer is measuri...

Posted June 27, 2017 by Greg Stehn

When someone says “apple,” do you think red, green, or yellow? What do you do if a customer asks you to produce a color using descriptions that are not specific enough? Check out how something as seemingly simple as color communication can determine whether your color program succeeds or fails. A picture may paint a thousand words, but words alone do not paint a thousand colors. Circular conversations about color happen everyday. They generally start with someone asking for a sligh...

Posted May 26, 2017 by Cindy Cooperman

What happens when you have more than 2,000 brand colors to manage across a complex global packaging supply chain? Things get complicated! Although it may seem easier to create a new color than to dig through databases or binders of color drawdowns to find the closest match, the problem comes later when you’re faced with a huge, unmanageable library. One of our clients, a well-known fast-moving consumer packaged goods (FMCG) company, understands how easily things can get out of control. They wer...

Posted April 25, 2017 by Cindy Cooperman

With today’s complex cross-media campaigns, accurate profiling is even more important for managing customer expectations across the color supply chain. Our i1Pro 2 solutions help photographers, videographers, prepress and digital printers create profiles for the best color on monitors, scanners, projectors, printers, and online web-to-print submission tools. But with so many to choose from, how do you know which is the right tool for your color workflow? Whether you’re looking to add a new comp...

Posted April 11, 2017 by Ray Cheydleur

It’s been said that everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten. Does this phrase ring true for print and packaging designers? In the spirit of spring, we attempted to use a simple childhood activity—dyeing eggs—to solve some of the most perplexing color issues facing the packaging designer/printer relationship.                 Here are three lessons to learn about color in packaging from our annual egg dyeing ritual. 1...

Posted April 06, 2017 by Shoshana Burgett
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